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posted by janrinok on Saturday February 10, @05:06PM   Printer-friendly

Many Indigenous peoples and local communities around the world are leading very satisfying lives despite having very little money.This is the conclusion of a study by ICTA-UAB, which shows that many societies with very low monetary income have remarkably high levels of life satisfaction, comparable to those in wealthy countries.

Economic growth is often prescribed as a sure way of increasing the well-being of people in low-income countries, and global surveys in recent decades have supported this strategy by showing that people in high-income countries tend to report higher levels of life satisfaction than those in low-income countries. This strong correlation might suggest that only in rich societies can people be happy.

[...] The research, published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), consisted of a survey of 2,966 people from Indigenous and local communities in 19 globally distributed sites. Only 64% of surveyed households had any cash income. The results show that "surprisingly, many populations with very low monetary incomes report very high average levels of life satisfaction, with scores similar to those in wealthy countries," says Eric Galbraith, researcher at ICTA-UAB and McGill University and lead author of the study.

[...] The researchers highlight that, although they now know that people in many Indigenous and local communities report high levels of life satisfaction, they do not know why. Prior work would suggest that family and social support and relationships, spirituality, and connections to nature are among the important factors on which this happiness is based, "but it is possible that the important factors differ significantly between societies or, conversely, that a small subset of factors dominate everywhere. I would hope that, by learning more about what makes life satisfying in these diverse communities, it might help many others to lead more satisfying lives while addressing the sustainability crisis," Galbraith concludes.

[Source]: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

[Also Covered By]: ScienceDaily

What would give you true happiness ? Can you be really happy with less money ?


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by looorg on Saturday February 10, @05:21PM (16 children)

    by looorg (578) on Saturday February 10, @05:21PM (#1343872)

    It's isn't so much that money leads to happiness, it's that not having any leads to misery.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by https on Saturday February 10, @06:22PM (4 children)

      by https (5248) on Saturday February 10, @06:22PM (#1343875) Journal

      If the only way you knew how to solve what problems you have is with money, that might sell.

      --
      Offended and laughing about it.
      • (Score: 5, Touché) by JoeMerchant on Saturday February 10, @06:47PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday February 10, @06:47PM (#1343876)

        The problem with modern life is that most problems are created by people selling the solutions.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DadaDoofy on Saturday February 10, @09:18PM (2 children)

          by DadaDoofy (23827) on Saturday February 10, @09:18PM (#1343893)
          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday February 10, @09:51PM (1 child)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday February 10, @09:51PM (#1343901)

            Good one. I "found" genuine happiness for an hour or so after "beating" the Florida lottery, using a $1 store scratch-off winning to purchase the new (in 1987) Florida Lottery scratch off ticket which then also won and gave me $5 - for no risk on my part. I was grinning for a good 90 minutes - and I remained "ahead" in the Florida Lottery game for several years, by never playing again.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
            • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday February 12, @04:07PM

              by Freeman (732) on Monday February 12, @04:07PM (#1344103) Journal

              I'm at about +$8 lifetime winnings in Lottery scratch-off tickets. I've only ever purchased a few and I've never purchased more with the winnings. I figure you try one and you lose, oh well. You try one and you win, yay, and move on.

              --
              Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Unixnut on Saturday February 10, @07:42PM (10 children)

      by Unixnut (5779) on Saturday February 10, @07:42PM (#1343883)

      I always thought it was fundamentally "envy" that made people unhappy. If your neighbour has a mud hut, you will be overall content and happy in your own mud hut. If however your neighbour has a brick house with a bathroom and running water, then you would be unhappy as you don't have the same.

      That is why in rich ares people are unhappy despite being better off than their ancestors ever were. They are comparing themselves to neighbours/peers. If your neighbour has a big house with multiple cars and a boat, then you can be unhappy because you have a smaller house and only one car, despite both of you being better off than people in mud huts elsewhere.

      People tend to compare themselves with their peers instead of some global standard of "well off". In some ways it makes sense to do that, because the assumption is your peers had the same chances and opportunities you had to achieve, so if you didn't then it is on you, which can make people unhappy, feel like a failure, etc...

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Saturday February 10, @08:20PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday February 10, @08:20PM (#1343884)

        Happiness is relative - in many cases: the greater distance you have from your relatives, the happier you are ;-) Depending on the relatives, of course - and it's not like you get to choose your ancestry.

        There's a fair amount of happiness in the favelas (slums / shanty towns) of Rio, and many of them have a great view of the glittering condos, beaches, shiny cars, etc. nearby.

        Then there's a fair amount of misery in viewers of Hollywood fantasy life movies / TV series.... people can become envious of things that don't even exist.

        One thing that is true: depression / suicidal tendencies come from feelings of being helpless, trapped in a situation you would rather not be in, like the forced swim test [nih.gov]. The dark joke about Electro-Convulsive Therapy being a temporary cure for depression is that it erases the depressed patient's memories - and so they forget, temporarily, how badly they perceive their life to suck. Once they resume their life and remember how much it sucks, they get depressed again. (Sad reference: Carrie Fischer and her book Wishful Drinking).

        And I believe, so it goes for happiness. Freedom to choose to do the things you want to do leads to greater happiness. Being envious of (and dwelling on) things you can never have leads to a lack of happiness. It's more about relative progress, the "right and ability to pursue happiness" that brings feelings of self-reported happiness, rather than any particular goals you may have achieved.

        Something lacking in the discussion here so far (but not in Wishful Drinking) is the effects both temporary and long term of chemical agents on happiness... That's a whole other dimension that, for the most part, seems to lead to the short-term gain long-term loss scenarios.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Unixnut on Saturday February 10, @08:41PM (1 child)

          by Unixnut (5779) on Saturday February 10, @08:41PM (#1343886)

          All very good points. Your point about favela's for example. There is wealth in great climate, being near the sea and stunning natural views (of which Brazil seems to have oodles of). Just waking up to a blue sky can be very uplifting, even if life is a struggle. They also tend to have a community around them, to support one another despite the harsh difficulties of their life. Plus they are "all in the same boat" so a bit like my mud-hut analogy, they find a way to be content with what they and their peers can achieve.

          I always thought that dwelling on what I did not (or could not) have would make me miserable. Here the media really does not help. I remember years ago, my then girlfriend and her mother would spend hours watching those "Houses of the rich and famous" type programs.

          All it seemed to do is make them feel miserable about their lives. Along the lines of "OMG that persons bathroom is the size of my living room! Look, they even have a jacuzzi", "Wow they have their own swimming pool", "their walk in wardrobe is bigger than my entire bedroom". They would sit and watch these programs, and then feel unhappy with their lot in life.

          Needless to say despite constant invitations to join them I refused, precisely because it would bring me no joy. Seeing someone's 10+ supercar garage would only remind me that I will never be able to have that, so I would rather not know of its existence. These people are not my peers, I would never even bump into them in my life, so for all that it matters to me they may as well not exist at all on this planet. If it wasn't for the media broadcasting it to us to see, we would not even know of what they had and how they lived, and I think many people would have been happier and better off for it.

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday February 11, @01:35AM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday February 11, @01:35AM (#1343930)

            >Just waking up to a blue sky can be very uplifting

            We get a lot of happiness out of our morning birdsongs... and then the F-ing neighbors' dogs start... Afternoons too - until the neighbors' children start...

            >they find a way to be content with what they and their peers can achieve.

            I understand that the caste system is officially dissolved in India - though I wonder if it will take 200+ years to erase it the way the abolition of slavery has been going in the U.S.... anyway, within a now hypothetical caste system you are trained to be happy with your slot in the hierarchy... don't bother aspiring to a "higher" life, that's not what you got this go around - do good with what you got and maybe in reincarnation.... really a better motivational speech than "everlasting bliss in heaven" as far as I'm concerned.

            >Seeing someone's 10+ supercar garage would only remind me...

            that I'm not Jay Leno, and I don't really want to be. Jay threw us commoners a bone when he did his Miata speech, about how it's his favorite car to actually drive - all the old historics are stressful to take out, you never know when something that costs 2 or 3 or 10 Miatas to fix will go wrong, collision or not. Park it anywhere, don't stress about a door ding or two...

            >These people are not my peers, I would never even bump into them in my life

            I got a "house tour" of a very successful head of a very successful company - three helicopters in the heli-garage, massive collectable antiques some from famous movies, indoor pool and sauna on a mountaintop... we didn't hop to the offshore island in the helicopter but we did talk about it... By the end of the tour I had concluded that I'd certainly love to have his money, but in no way would I trade lives with him. Given his circumstances, at any point in the last 30 years (basically since he was in his late 20s), I would have taken a very different path than he has chosen, probably ending up with 10% of his wealth - but that's plenty for me, and the other 90% is a bad trade for what is has made of his life...

            I don't mind so much knowing about it. I'm watching some younger "climbers" in my company today - a small fraction of whom are likely to reach several levels above me by the time they are 50 - I wish them well, I didn't choose that path and given the opportunity for a do-over, I wouldn't choose it the next time either, even if I were guaranteed "success."

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Sunday February 11, @01:19AM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 11, @01:19AM (#1343926) Journal

          in many cases: the greater distance you have from your relatives,

          About 30 years ago, I was newly married into the family. Brothers-in-law, all older than I, had a pissing contest going, regarding who had done the most for Father-in-law. So, after much silly nonsense, they all got together, and asked the old man which was his favorite son-in-law. Almost instant answer was "Frank." "Huh? Why Frank?" "Frank lives almost a thousand miles away. He only comes around a couple times a year, eats a holiday meal, and goes the hell home. Frank doesn't bother me much."

          That seemed to put an end to the pissing contest.

          FIL died not very long after. I do miss the old guy.

          --
          ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by mhajicek on Saturday February 10, @08:49PM (1 child)

        by mhajicek (51) on Saturday February 10, @08:49PM (#1343888)

        Happiness is the delta between your expectations and your perceived reality.

        Rimworld has it right; low expectations is a buff.

        It's not just your neighbors that set your expectations, it's also those you see on TV, online, etc. so ignorance is bliss.

        But there's also the factor that modern "civilized society" makes it very difficult to get through life on a tight budget. Is there anywhere in the US that you would be allowed to live in a mud hut or equivalent, hunting, gathering, and maybe doing a little subsistence farming, without touching money? No, you have to engage in the economy, so you have currency with which to pay taxes, etc., or people with guns will show up and make things difficult.

        --
        The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Sunday February 11, @01:41AM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday February 11, @01:41AM (#1343932)

          >hunting, gathering, and maybe doing a little subsistence farming, without touching money?

          Only as an illegal squatter. Hunter-gather subsistence farming lifestyles are very expensive today, most of us can't afford the taxes and 20 year mortgage payment on enough productive land to feed ourselves even if we do work full-time college graduate jobs in addition to the full time job of living off the land.

          We purchased 20 acres of "recreational" land, and we recreated quite well, thank you, but a BIG part of the price of that land was the 3 hour travel time one-way between the house that we lived in during the working week and the closest land we could afford.

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by mcgrew on Saturday February 10, @09:18PM (3 children)

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday February 10, @09:18PM (#1343892) Homepage Journal

        I always thought it was fundamentally "envy" that made people unhappy.

        There are two kinds of people: those who envy their neighbor's new car, and those who are happy for the neighbor. Happiness, as the study says, is up to you.

        --
        mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
        • (Score: 2) by DadaDoofy on Saturday February 10, @09:30PM

          by DadaDoofy (23827) on Saturday February 10, @09:30PM (#1343895)

          Precisely, and well said. I won't fall into the trap of saying one is better than the other, but I sure am glad my nature is to not obsess about what others have, or don't have.

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday February 10, @09:53PM (1 child)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday February 10, @09:53PM (#1343903)

          I don't have to be "happy for my neighbor" when they get a new car, I can giggle behind their back about the six year payment plan they just signed up for - makes me just as happy, with respect certain neighbors.

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Sunday February 11, @01:22AM

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 11, @01:22AM (#1343928) Journal

            That's a rather nasty attitude - but it's one I share. I'm quite happy driving an old vehicle in good repair, knowing that no banker has any claim to it. Yeah, I can giggle over the poor fools who need to work all the overtime they can get, to make the payment on their new shiny.

            --
            ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Opportunist on Saturday February 10, @06:14PM (5 children)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Saturday February 10, @06:14PM (#1343873)

    During the dot.com time I got rich. Really, really rich. I was barely 20, and the usual conversation between me and a friend was "Breakfast?" "OK, where?" "Dunno. London or Paris?"

    Then dot.com came crashing down and the "Breakfast?" question was usually met with "No, gotta pay my heating bill or I'll be a popsicle tomorrow".

    So I've seen both things, more money than is good for you and less money than you need for survival.

    The difference wasn't happiness. The difference was worries. Money can buy away any kind of real worry you may have. And no, "I sooo hope they will have cream cheese bagels at the airport lounge today because I'm really fed up with salmon and caviar, can't see that gunk anymore!" is not a worry that qualifies here.

    Happiness is something you find somewhere else. Money can't buy happiness. All it can buy away is misery.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Saturday February 10, @06:59PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday February 10, @06:59PM (#1343878)

      Things a modest amount of money can buy:

      • food
      • shelter
      • clothing
      • transportation

      Things a large amount of money can buy:

      • food prepared and dishes cleaned up for you
      • a lot of land and home(s) where you want
      •    

        • distance from annoying neighbors
        •                  

        • maintenance handled by others
        •                  

        • freedom from pesky HOA style annoyances
        •      

      • whatever fancy baubles catch your eye
      • transportation in style

      If you do it right, a lot of money means you can live Joe Walsh "Life's been good to me so far" style: with accountants to pay for it all, and time to screw around doing whatever you want, with whoever wants to hang out with you.

      Happiness not included in either list. Plenty of people in the bottom list make their own problems and still find great dissatisfaction with life, even to the point of suicide.

      The main difference between the lists: top list is living in what could be a share-share alike world where we all basically do what we feel like doing, plus what's necessary. The bottom list is where people live on the top of a pyramid and have a bunch of "little people" tending to their whims and desires in addition to their needs.

      We could all, 100% of the population, live in the top list if we chose to structure society that way.

      Actual society has pretty much always had the bottom list people in it... I doubt they contribute net-positive to the Bhutanese concept of Gross Domestic Happiness when considering society as a whole.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Unixnut on Saturday February 10, @08:24PM (3 children)

      by Unixnut (5779) on Saturday February 10, @08:24PM (#1343885)

      I agree, I have experienced both poverty, then wealth for a few years and now back to "average joe" territory.

      The main thing money bought me was peace of mind. Less need to stress or worry about sudden large expenses. I could afford to get good medical care when I needed it, I could buy whatever food I wanted without worrying if I was going over budget. I did not need to make any hard decisions (e.g. buy food or have heating/electricity this week).

      All the basics and daily things in life I did not even have to think about budgeting. No matter how much I splurged in a month I still did not exceed my monthly income.

      The second thing money bought me was time. When you have decent disposable income, you can pay other people to do stuff for you, freeing up your time to enjoy doing the things you want. Be it simple things like going to restaurants rather than having to cook, a cleaner to keep your house in order, a builder to do work for you, a mechanic to take care of your cars, up to accountants, PA's and lawyers to handle paperwork and life issues that crop up for everyone.

      It is a bit like being a boss of a company that runs your life. You hire and direct others, keep track of things, but otherwise are free to spend your time in other pursuits, hobbies and indulgences.

      When you don't have much money you have to get by with doing as much as possible yourself. Nowadays I cook, clean, do my own DIY , can't afford a car right now and handle everything myself (except the accountants, I keep them because the cost of being fined or prosecuted for getting my tax wrong is far in excess of what they cost to do things properly). Likewise I have to budget for my monthly food, wait for special offers/discounts, etc.. and have a separate "treats" budget when I have some excess money to buy a small luxury. "Life" itself takes up a lot more of your time and gets in the way of things you may want to do and/or achieve.

      Does being wealthy itself make one happy? I would not say so, in my previous life I met many rich people, many of them much richer than I was. Some were happy, others were unhappy miserable wrecks, some went into the hedonism of drugs and sex in order to escape their unhappiness. Having a lot of money didn't seem to generally correlate with happiness. Wealth just amplified those who were happy or unhappy. I personally miss some of the pleasures and lifestyle I had experienced in the past, but I still find things to be happy in the present with, all the while time marches on.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday February 11, @02:03AM (1 child)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday February 11, @02:03AM (#1343933)

        >you can pay other people to do stuff for you, freeing up your time to enjoy doing the things you want. Be it simple things like going to restaurants rather than having to cook, a cleaner to keep your house in order, a builder to do work for you, a mechanic to take care of your cars

        There are problems with all of that, of course. Starting with "good help is hard to find." We backed off the restaurant scene when we had kids, not because of the expense or the kids' behavior (which was pretty far out at times), but the real thing that put us off restaurants was the time required to have a meal out. Home cooked dinner can be 30 minutes start to finish if you push it, more like an hour relaxed. Restaurants have travel time, wait to be seated time, wait to be served time, wait for the check time, travel away time - if you're trying to kill time it's all very luxurious and relaxing, but on driving vacations we will frequently avoid restaurants just to save time on a long drive day.

        Then for the house cleaner - being control freaks doesn't help... we would need major attitude adjustments just to be able to let somebody else handle the cleaning for us without spending more time and effort managing them than doing it ourselves. I did hire painters recently for a once every 15 year freshening of the house exterior paint... they did a good job on the paint, even painted one wall I wasn't thinking they would - they took the exterior blinds (Coolaroos) off those windows for me and put them back. Of course, a day later one of the blinds fell down because they didn't screw it back into place correctly, and there are three or four other details I need to get around to fixing behind them one of these days.

        I have been using more car mechanics these days, and I have found some I can trust who are also reasonably priced, but.... sometimes it is still better to just do it myself. One couldn't diagnose that the automatic transmission was low on fluid, then gave the car back to me with the battery cable loose... another can't seem to get belt tension right no matter how many times he tries...

        >handle everything myself (except the accountants, I keep them because the cost of being fined or prosecuted for getting my tax wrong is far in excess of what they cost to do things properly).

        I wonder... first I wonder what the actual probability of being audited is... then I wonder how often the tax accountants screw things up for you? I have paid the bloodsuckers at TurboTax for the past 15ish years and I read their instructions and dig for help until they make sense, and if TurboTax says that's how it is, then that's how it is as far as I'm concerned. I feel less likely to have a problem "following the herd" with TurboTax advice than hiring independent accountants. My father was (briefly) a CPA at what was then a "Big Eight" accounting firm... what little insight that gave into the industry makes me think that the people who used his firm are much more likely to have audit problems than primarily W2 income TurboTax users.

        >Having a lot of money didn't seem to generally correlate with happiness.

        I traveled a bit in investment banking / entrepreneurial investment seeking circles and met a few angels, a few successful CEOs, a few trust fund babies then in their 50s and 60s, the ones with essentially unlimited money seemed to fall into two camps: one camp didn't appear unusually wealthy when you saw them going about their daily lives, maybe if you knew what the meetings they were going to were about that would be a tip, but otherwise they had reasonably ordinary - nice - but ordinary clothes, cars, nice but not too flashy houses, etc. The other camp had flashy toys, took flashy trips, many had thinly concealed drug habits, and they tended to be manic-depressive... looking quite happy some of the time, then disappearing for weeks or months with no stories about what happened during those "black" times.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 2) by pdfernhout on Sunday February 11, @03:35AM

          by pdfernhout (5984) on Sunday February 11, @03:35AM (#1343941) Homepage

          Thanks for your insightful posts -- including the one about two spending levels. In general, the further we get from the hunter-gatherer context we are mostly adapted for, the less happy we are -- regardless of how we spend our money on toys or extreme experiences. As Stephen Ilardi puts it:
          https://tlc.ku.edu/ [ku.edu]
          “We were never designed for the sedentary, indoor, sleep-deprived, socially-isolated, fast-food-laden, frenetic pace of modern life.”

          So his cure for most depression involves things like exercise, sunlight/vitamin-D, good sleep, positive socialization, healthy food, and avoiding ruminant thinking by doing meaningful activities.

          Or in other words (a talk by him):
          "Depression is a disease of civilization: Stephen Ilardi at TEDxEmory"
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drv3BP0Fdi8 [youtube.com]
          "... So consider the experience of the Kaluli people, of the highlands of Papua New Guinea. They've been studied extensively, by the anthropologist Edward Shieffelin. He spent over a decade among the Kaluli. One of his research questions was, how often do the Kaluli experience the same kind of mental illness that we do? He certainly found some forms of it. He interviewed over two thousand members of the Kaluli, and extensively queried them for their experience of clinical depression. And you know what he found? One marginal case out of 2,000! That gives them a rate of clinical depression, that's probably about a hundred times lower than ours. I'll tell you why I find that really remarkable. Because, among other things, the Kaluli lead really really hard lives. Really! They have high rates of infant mortality. They have high rates of parasitic infections. They have high rates of violent death. But they don't become clinically depressed! They grieve, absolutely. They don't get shut down. What's protecting them? Lifestyle. Specifically, the Kaluli live a lifestyle very similar to that of our ancestors lifestyle over the entire Pleistocene epoch, that lasted for 1.8 million years. Did you know that 99.9% of the human and pre-human experience was lived in a hunter-gatherer context? So, what does that mean? Most of the selection pressures that have sculpted and shaped our genomes are Pleistocene. We're still really well adapted for that sort of environment and that sort of lifestyle."

          It takes a village and tribe to live well in the wilderness. As you pointed out, access to land for hunting and gathering is expensive now (after enclosure acts going back centuries). And for people raised in mainstream Western culture, expectations are already set. And then there is "Supernormal Stimuli" linked to "The Pleasure Trap" (names of books) which are hard to escape.

          Ilardi has written a great book about all this which I mention here (along with many other resources):
          https://github.com/pdfernhout/High-Performance-Organizations-Reading-List?tab=readme-ov-file#the-depression-cure-the-6-step-program-to-beat-depression-without-drugs [github.com]

          --
          The biggest challenge of the 21st century: the irony of technologies of abundance used by scarcity-minded people.
      • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Sunday February 11, @02:48PM

        by pTamok (3042) on Sunday February 11, @02:48PM (#1343973)

        The main thing money bought me was peace of mind.

        This, absolutely*.

        I am in the process of going from 'comfortably well off' (a long time in the past) to 'below median income' (now) with every prospect of that trend continuing. As it happens, the fact that I spent a lot less than my income in the past is helping now. The biggest differences are those of peace of mind, and the ability to make voluntary choices, rather than having some things forced upon me.

        Money might not buy happiness, but it can make unhappiness less uncomfortable.

        *Well, not absolutely, absolutely. Depending on your state of mind, no level of wealth is 'enough' in the sense that you can always conceive of scenarios where you lose it all. Catastrophization is a nasty habit. Marx wrote that 'religion is the opium of the people [wikipedia.org]', and so, ones mental state can be relatively independent on ones physical state: in other words, peace of mind can be gained by meditation, or drugs, or other methods.
         

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by shrewdsheep on Saturday February 10, @06:21PM (1 child)

    by shrewdsheep (5215) on Saturday February 10, @06:21PM (#1343874)
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Gaaark on Saturday February 10, @07:01PM

      by Gaaark (41) on Saturday February 10, @07:01PM (#1343879) Journal

      Except some tourists would walk away without getting the point; "Lazy guy. Could better himself so much".

      --
      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Gaaark on Saturday February 10, @06:57PM (1 child)

    by Gaaark (41) on Saturday February 10, @06:57PM (#1343877) Journal

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs [wikipedia.org]

    Having enough money to get you a place of safety (house, apartment, hut) and enough food and being able to find someone you can love and will love you is all you need.

    It MAY (but not necessarily) take money for a place of safety and food, but real love doesn't need any money. A feeling of self-esteem doesn't take money. Self-actualisation doesn't take money.

    Beyond basic safety and food (if you don't have this, it's very hard to be happy), it's all just desires (although love does wonders for mental health and esteem): i want shrimp and placenta flavoured ice cream! You don't need it, you just want it.

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 2) by sjames on Monday February 12, @06:34PM

      by sjames (2882) on Monday February 12, @06:34PM (#1344128) Journal

      I think a common confusion comes from cheap consumer goods with necessities stubbornly expensive.

      It's not hard to afford a decent sized TV, it costs half of a week's groceries (for a family). A decent cellphone? Plan included, less than half a weeks groceries.

      But groceries for a month? That can run in to some money. Rent or house payment? Easily more than many people's monthly income even for a modest place.

      So you have a nice TV and a decentish place to live, but since mortgages are for people with a secure job and enough to make a big down payment, you live in an apartment where you can end up put out with a month's notice or sometimes less, then you lose the TV.

      Meanwhile, the guy in the mud hut OWNS the hut and so he knows where he will be living next year.

      In a modern country with no universal health care, no amount of money less than idle rich status is enough to be sure you won't lose it all over a single incident. Even with universal healthcare, the risk is greatly reduced but not eliminated.

  • (Score: 2) by crafoo on Saturday February 10, @08:52PM (6 children)

    by crafoo (6639) on Saturday February 10, @08:52PM (#1343889)

    happiness is a temporary physiological brain-chemical-induced emotion. it is temporary and fleeting, like all emotions. you will quickly revert back to your baseline emotional state.

    contentment with your life and station in life is distinctly different. Contentment is making positive steps towards your goals, relative safety and sufficient basic resources, being in good standing with your peers and society, good health & being mostly free of unnecessary suffering and dread.

    If you are in a society that routinely saddles you with requirements you aren't able to meet, or that puts you in regular, low-level danger and dread are very bad things for how you feel about your life. even if the requirements are surmountable but they are consistent and unending, or if the dread is inescapable the effect on your life can be substantial.

    soooo.. are you surrounded by assholes? are you buried in byzantine bureaucracies? how are you treated in your relationships? how much time and resources do you have to pursue your personal goals?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Saturday February 10, @09:55PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday February 10, @09:55PM (#1343905)

      >happiness is a temporary physiological brain-chemical-induced emotion. it is temporary and fleeting, like all emotions. you will quickly revert back to your baseline emotional state.

      You can really look at happiness as an imbalance....

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday February 10, @10:12PM (4 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday February 10, @10:12PM (#1343908)

      > that puts you in regular, low-level danger and dread are very bad things for how you feel about your life

      So, one way I "beat" the big bad city and all of its low level danger threats was by buying a cheap old pickup truck. I drove it downtown, parked it on the street at night for basketball games, parked it wherever the hell I wanted really, because: A) nobody would bother to steal it, the reward was far too small for the risk, and B) even if they did, I was out maybe a paycheck and a half... hardly worth getting worried about when the chances were low to start with.

      One thing I did a lot with that truck was tow a little aluminum outboard boat to the sketchy boat ramp near my house. Being sketchy, it was both free to use and not as crowded as the glittery big boat ramp in the other direction. And even though the little boat cost 3x as much as the truck, it was relatively cheap, lightweight, not a problem if you ran it aground... a man at the ramp remarked to me one day "I used to have a boat like that, I used to enjoy boating when I had that boat" - he went on to elaborate that his new, bigger, heavier, more powerful boat is fun - when it isn't needing work, when it isn't stuck on a sandbar needing a tow, when he hasn't gone too far offshore and unexpected weather is making it hell to get back into the bay, when he isn't paying for fuel... With great responsibility comes great stress, and misery. A $50,000 boat is a lot more responsibility than a $5,000 boat, but the $5000 boat can get you 90% of the "fun stuff" depending on what you define as "fun stuff."

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 2) by crafoo on Saturday February 10, @11:05PM (3 children)

        by crafoo (6639) on Saturday February 10, @11:05PM (#1343918)

        good strat on the truck. I've done similar with an olds 88 I got for about $1500 and it worked well too. I suppose my point was that in a healthy society you could leave any vehicle unlocked, stroll through a mix of beautiful classical architecture along shaded and treed boulevards amongst pleasant and civil people. It's possible, we've had this society in the past, and the path to get to a future-looking version of it is actually quite simple.

        don't get me started on boating! captaining a small dinghy or single-handed sailing boat is the most fun. My sailboat is also my home so it's quite a bit larger. free town docks are the best. maneuvering in tight quarters with a sailboat amongst $1mil powerboat yachts is not all that fun but it's a learnable skill. offshore in heavy weather is kind of my life and a sailboat handles it well if you have staysails and a storm jib. some type of "water brake" over the stern is also recommended when you're surfing down 30' waves in 40knt winds. or just heave-to and take a nap until the storm passes. the scariest situations is being near any kind of land in heavy weather.

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday February 11, @01:14AM (2 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday February 11, @01:14AM (#1343924)

          >in a healthy society you could leave any vehicle unlocked, stroll through a mix of beautiful classical architecture along shaded and treed boulevards amongst pleasant and civil people

          We are getting better in the last 50 years, at least in Florida. Less petty crime, better walkability and landscaping in public spaces.

          I think a lot of it has to do with removing the lead from the gasoline - my (born later 1960s) generation pretty much got the peak of that during our developmental years, and my Class of the Mid 80s high school classmates are just about the worst petty criminals I know of. Movies of the day glorified gang violence, and prosperity was getting to the point that most of the kids could drive themselves 100 miles to another city, do a bunch of petty bs racist vandalism and then top it off with a little petty crime and pawn the ill gotten gains to pay for the trip - without the stringent ID requirements that came later. Now they're out there voting for Trump.

          >single-handed sailing boat is the most fun

          We have a 30' (10,000lb) sailboat now, it makes a nice little "room on the water" in the marina to go visit at sunset, maybe putter out into the river and back on the "iron sail" once in awhile - throw out the furling jib and pretend to be sailing when you're really drifting mostly downwind around 2kts. The "club boat" that we sailed a few times before getting our RV on the water was a 26' - not as much room inside for sure, but much more fun to actually sail. Were I to get a sailboat for sailing in our area (big river), I think 22-24' is ideal - for sailing - but certainly not as much room to just go relax in. We got 'caught out' in that 26' club boat with a 30knot headwind for 4 hours beating back home - made it about 45 minutes before sunset, and our marina is on an east-west creek so it was protected from the wind that was screaming down the river out of the North. Storm jib and reefed main - mast was still bending about a foot at the top making the lee side stays flop around, but nothing broke on that 40 year old "club boat," so I guess we handled it right. Now... were I to attempt Pacific crossings, I think a "little" 40 footer is about as light as I'd want to run...

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 2) by crafoo on Monday February 12, @12:39AM (1 child)

            by crafoo (6639) on Monday February 12, @12:39AM (#1344013)

            fantastic news about Florida. I'm considering making it my home base, or continuing down to maybe the Yucatan Peninsula, which is one of the nicest and safest places in North America from what I've seen of it.

            very interesting theory about the leaded gasoline. my understanding of low-level lead poisoning is that it does indeed affect your ability to control emotions and erratic behaviors. it lines up with behaviors and irrational proclivities I've seen from many people of that generation. spur-of-the-moment petty crimes & violence/robberies and such, as you mentioned. imagine what we will know about micro-plastics poisoning in 10-30 years. I suspect it's the next 'low level lead poisoning' generational low-point.

            is your 30' a full-keel or a fin or wing keel? at 10klbs it must be a blue-water boat? they handle so much differently in tight quarters and also heavy seas. in a river (what I consider tight quarters) I'd probably want a wing keel with minimum draft and easy steering. 30knt winds on a river in a 26' sailboat is very tough conditions congrats on handling that. It's always a little unnerving when you see the leeward standing rigging floating about and the mast bending. modern sailboats are pretty awesome though and can take so much abuse. just assuming although the boat is 40 years old they've had the rigging updated.

            A pacific crossing is probably in my gameplan in the next 5 years. I'm on a 36' standard sloop FRP hull with a 4cyl diesel, storm sails, water maker, solar, and a good autopilot. regular sailors have done it on 32' with less. I think it's all about the weather and timing. with modern sat weather forecasts it's so much easier than say in the 80s or 90s.

            good to hear from another sailor. happy sailing!

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday February 12, @01:20AM

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday February 12, @01:20AM (#1344022)

              I visited the land-side of the Yucatan for a week in the 1980s, Merida and surrounding tourist sites. We trusted a taxi driver who spotted us as clueless gringos with a little money to spend at the airport and he took us around all week to a different thing to see every day. His rates were very fair in my opinion, cheap in comparison to the prices charged at the more tourist oriented sites like Chichen-Itza. One day he took us into a small city center somewhere out from Merida, the people were clearly genetically predominantly Mayan - the center was pretty bustling with lunchtime shopping etc. and he threw his cash bag, one of those bank business zipper things with a bank's information printed on it, on the seat of the car with the windows open and walked away without hesitation or even a look around. The cash bag was unzipped and we could clearly see that it contained at least 20x what we paid him for the whole week of carting our gringo butts around. After a bit he motioned for us to join him, leaving the cash far out of sight while we did whatever in the marketplace. Of course, it lay there undisturbed when we got back, even though probably a couple dozen different people had walked by the taxi window in arm's reach of the bag while we were away. Coming from Miami, where you couldn't leave a bicycle even "Kryptonite U-Locked" anywhere for more than an hour lest it be missing on your return, we were impressed.

              I'm pretty impressed with the safety of our marinas in Jacksonville - I have seen no evidence of any kind of petty theft in the 5+ years we have had our sailboat here, though I did hear once that someone was coming through boosting the easily removed kicker outboards off the backs of smaller sailboats. One "crime wave" like that in 5 years is pretty incredible considering our near total lack of security on the piers. Piers closer to downtown have a bit more security and apparently also very little trouble.

              We have an '86 Pearson 303 4'4" draft fin keel. If we used it as a "real" regular ocean going sailboat I'd want the keel longer, but since we tie up in a creek with about 4'6" of minimum channel depth at low tides, the 4'4" keel is just about perfect. Neighbors with 6' of keel have to play tide timing games to get in and out, and the river can have a bit of a mind of its own with respect to water depth based on prevailing winds, rains, etc. For an RV on water, the fin keel is good enough. When we bought it I had fantasies of heading down the coast and over to the Abacos / Marsh Harbor, then about 6 months after we bought the boat Hurricane Dorian did a number on that whole area... we have other challenges preventing us from long trips like that too, for now, maybe in a few years.

              Good wishes for your Pacific adventure. Satellite weather prediction and communication really have changed the game to where a 32'er crossing the Pacific isn't totally insane anymore, though I still would prefer a bit more boat in those waters, just incase predictions don't pan out... Spare sails, spare lines, spare everything of importance, really, including snorkel gear to hammer in a plug if needed. That's a lot of what you need the bigger boat for. Before attempting such a trip, or even to the Bahamas from here, I'd have to get all my thru-hull valves working properly again. The galley sink is seized open, and the head / A/C raw water feed is awfully sticky / in need of rebuild. I recently replaced my diesel exhaust mixing elbow with a stainless one, which apparently lasts about twice as long as the regular cast iron ones... always something.

              --
              🌻🌻 [google.com]
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mcgrew on Saturday February 10, @09:23PM (4 children)

    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday February 10, @09:23PM (#1343894) Homepage Journal

    If money could buy happiness, Robin Williams would still be alive. Your life must be pretty horrible to want to end it prematurely.

    However, although money won't buy happiness, its lack will buy misery. Especially when you're hungry.

    --
    mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Saturday February 10, @09:59PM (2 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday February 10, @09:59PM (#1343906)

      >Your life must be pretty horrible to want to end it prematurely.

      Not necessarily, just your outlook on it. The crash of '29 high-rise to sidewalk divers are a pretty simple portrait of what happens when expectations fail to match up with reality. I bet every single one of them could have fared better than most post-crash, if they tried, but they were probably correct that their chances of "making it big" like they had been dreaming of for years were reduced from slim to oh-so-near-none...

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Wednesday February 14, @02:55PM (1 child)

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Wednesday February 14, @02:55PM (#1344410) Homepage Journal

        Every suicide I ever knew of was the result of someone thinking their life was shit and couldn't get any better. Look at that rich baby rapist, for instance. On top of the world, and everybody knows what happens to baby rapists in prison.

        The crash frightened investors and consumers. Men and women lost their life savings, feared for their jobs, and worried whether they could pay their bills.

        Roughly three in 100,000 people more killed themselves than before the depression (thanks, Google). There's a book about the 1920s [mcgrewbooks.com] written in the 1930s on one of my web sites. Its last chapters are about the crash and resulting depression. Most mentions of movies, books, and songs from the era link invisibly to the item mentioned.

        --
        mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday February 14, @05:11PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday February 14, @05:11PM (#1344433)

          >Roughly three in 100,000 people more killed themselves than before the depression

          For reference: today's suicide rate is 14.04 per 100,000 individuals (according to the Google hivemind)

          Depression is about feeling helpless, trapped, unable to escape whatever bothers you. Self-medication with whatever's available (alcohol is a big one) is a frequently abused escape attempt.

          “And if you like to drink your whiskey, you might even shoot yourself”

          - Saturday Night Special by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and apparently Tesla and BPMD lately.

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday February 12, @04:28PM

      by Freeman (732) on Monday February 12, @04:28PM (#1344107) Journal

      Robin Williams isn't exactly a good example for that as his brain was falling apart. People are people though and whether you have tons of money or not doesn't change a lot of the things revolving around depression or just general dissatisfaction with the way things turn out sometimes. Being a celebrity can have it's downsides as well that "normal people" don't have to deal with for the most part.

      Williams was found dead in his home in Paradise Cay, California, on August 11, 2014.
      [...]
      The report also noted that Williams had depression and anxiety.[173][174] An examination of his brain tissue suggested Williams had "diffuse Lewy body dementia".[168] Describing the disease as "the terrorist inside my husband's brain", his widow Susan Schneider Williams said that "however you look at it—the presence of Lewy bodies took his life", referring to his previous diagnosis of Parkinson's.[170] She noted "how we as a culture don't have the vocabulary to discuss brain disease in the way we do about depression. Depression is a symptom of LBD and it's not about psychology – it's rooted in neurology. His brain was falling apart."[175] Medical experts struggled to determine a cause, and eventually diagnosed him with Parkinson's disease.
      [...]
      "The report confirms he experienced depression, anxiety, and paranoia, which may occur in either Parkinson's disease or dementia with Lewy bodies. ... In early PD, Lewy bodies are generally limited in distribution, but in DLB, the Lewy bodies are spread widely throughout the brain, as was the case with Robin Williams."

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @09:43PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @09:43PM (#1343899)

    The greatest enjoyment of a man is to overcome his enemies, drive them before him, snatch what they have, to see the people to whom they are dear with their faces bathed in tears, to ride their horses, to squeeze in his arms their daughters and women.

    -Genghis Khan

    Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women!

    -Conan the Barbarian

    --
    Speaking of which...
    It seems to be Netanyahu's destiny to expose the fecklessness of the UN, and demonstrate the need for an untrammeled commonwealth of nations.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11, @12:56PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11, @12:56PM (#1343963)

      They didn't do it for Hitler, why would they do it for Netanyahu?

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Joe Desertrat on Sunday February 11, @03:17AM

    by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Sunday February 11, @03:17AM (#1343940)

    I think the times I have been happiest in life were when I was able to live, no matter what I was doing, without unnecessary stress and worry. I've had jobs where, with great coworkers and management, if not enlightened, at least stayed out of our way. Having also gone through stretches where I was unemployed, mostly by choice, I was quite happy, at least until I started to feel I should be getting back to work. What apparently causes me the most unhappiness is a sort of guilt that I should be doing more "adult" things, instead of enjoying myself in leisure activities. Life should be a journey from enjoyment to enjoyment, not want to want. The worst sort of life is working a job that seems like a "Monday to Friday dying". I once spent a summer traveling around, camping wherever I wanted to, fishing, hiking, whatever. I spent a total of around $600 and lived quite comfortably. I often wonder if I should make that my retirement plan.

  • (Score: 2) by Ingar on Sunday February 11, @11:21AM

    by Ingar (801) on Sunday February 11, @11:21AM (#1343957) Homepage Journal

    Ralph Offenhouse: You've got it all wrong. It has never been about possessions. It's about power.
    Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Power to do what?
    Ralph Offenhouse: To control your life, your destiny.
    Captain Jean-Luc Picard: That kind of control is an illusion.
    Ralph Offenhouse: Really? I'm here, aren't I? I should be dead, but I'm not.

    Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Neutral Zone

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Paradise Pete on Sunday February 11, @02:20PM (5 children)

    by Paradise Pete (1806) on Sunday February 11, @02:20PM (#1343970)

    Two of the keys to happiness are having your basic needs met and having expectations that align with reality.

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday February 12, @04:34PM (3 children)

      by Freeman (732) on Monday February 12, @04:34PM (#1344109) Journal

      Happiness is a lot harder to achieve, if you're constantly worried about the basic needs. https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html [simplypsychology.org] Having a certain amount of money/wealth is needed to be able to get pas the barely surviving stage. While you can be happy at the barely surviving stage it can put quite a strain on even the best relationships.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday February 14, @05:21PM (2 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday February 14, @05:21PM (#1344437)

        >Happiness is a lot harder to achieve, if you're constantly worried about the basic needs.

        Yeah, most people do expect to be able to sleep free from things large and small eating them, or pieces of them, in the night. Enough food that you're not lightheaded from hunger is another common expectation.

        Have I mentioned UBI?

        More than making people happy, I think UBI takes a lot of uncertainty / fear out of our economic equation. Uncertainty about being able to pay for a place to live, buy enough food to eat, fear of change (like your boss firing you) that puts those basic needs at risk. In my experience, living near / being served by / working with people who aren't stressed by uncertainty / fear is a lot more pleasant for me, and productive for their employers. But, then, I don't get my satisfaction from making my underlings quake in their boots and lick mine - sorry to those asshole bosses who are that way because they "paid their dues coming up" - the whole world would be better off if those people are forced to transcend their abused backgrounds and be happy for a new generation that has things better than they did - not necessarily more money / possessions / services, but less uncertainty and fear.

        Happiness and malcontent are both, to a degree, contagious.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday February 14, @06:34PM (1 child)

          by Freeman (732) on Wednesday February 14, @06:34PM (#1344447) Journal

          I'm increasingly becoming disenchanted with UBI. While it may solve the problem for those that are actively trying to help themselves. It won't help people that make dumb decisions. I'm much more in favor of providing things that people need. Such as Food/Clothing/Shelter. That way they can't drink their rent money or lose it on that sure fire poker hand. There will be ways people get around those things, but not giving them cash for it in the first place is a good step in the right direction.

          --
          Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
          • (Score: 4, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday February 14, @09:10PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday February 14, @09:10PM (#1344492)

            >It won't help people that make dumb decisions.

            Nothing will ever help people that make dumb decisions. The UBI trials that have been studied always find: well over 99% of recipients don't actually make dumb decisions with the money.

            >I'm much more in favor of providing things that people need. Such as Food/Clothing/Shelter.

            It sounds good, but consider the real world effects of things like "Free Shoes for Africa!!!" - what ends up happening is Africans get a bunch of ill fitting second hand shoes and the local shoe production industry is destroyed by the zero cost competition. I feel similarly about food aid: once people have jumped all the hoops to get food aid, they tend to start depending on it. Exclusive "Section 8" housing for the poor? Not great results as compared to generally available low cost housing...

            >That way they can't drink their rent money or lose it on that sure fire poker hand.

            There will always be addicts, they will always need support if they're going to have a good chance of living successfully with their addiction(s). With UBI it's pretty straightforward: everybody has this baseline money available, if yours goes on alcohol or gambling and you end up homeless and/or hungry, you clearly have a problem and need help...

            >not giving them cash for it in the first place is a good step in the right direction.

            Possibly court appointed management of some or all of your UBI? Again, while they're easy to spot on a downtown park bench, these people are actually rather rare in the larger population, and having the means to reliably afford a roof and a shower, a decent set of clothes and a cell phone puts those people "in the gutter" much closer to being able to start being a productive member of society again, and if their court appointed UBI manager won't give them money for drinking, they can damn well go out and earn it for themselves... like my neighbor's "Uncle Billy."

            The abridged tale of Billy: Billy lost most of his teeth being pistol-whipped while trying to stop a bar fight. Billy was assigned by a judge to be an "associate" of Raiford prison, not an inmate, an "associate." Billy liked tequila. Billy lived in his sister's house, next door to me. Billy would work construction for his sister's husband, long enough to buy a big bottle of tequila, then Billy would work on the bottle until it was empty (usually a few days) then Billy would work construction again to get another bottle. Billy was probably pushing 50, looked more like 73. When not working on a big bottle of tequila, Billy would usually drink at the dive bar down the street, but sometimes he hitched a ride to the "nice" dive bar a couple of miles down the road. After about 3 years of living this pattern next door to me, Billy "got lucky" one night at the nice dive bar and he and a lady went up to a room in the attached hotel. Billy died that night of a heart attack (poor woman!)

            There will be Billys under UBI, we have Billys today. Will we get more? I don't know, but those Billys that aren't lucky enough to have a sister who will give him a cheap room to crash in can at least get off the street and maybe get better jobs - who knows: maybe more Billys would "get lucky" under UBI too.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday February 14, @05:13PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday February 14, @05:13PM (#1344434)

      >having expectations that align with reality.

      I find that "true happiness" comes when your truly self-accepted expectations align somewhat lower than reality. Reality that surprises in good ways brings happiness.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Sunday February 11, @09:20PM (1 child)

    by Thexalon (636) on Sunday February 11, @09:20PM (#1344000)

    All things have diminishing returns the more of it you get, and the longer you get it. For example, if you buy a nice car, at first it's "wow, this is a nice car", then it's "hey, it's still pretty cool", and eventually it's just "yup, that's my car". That's true even if you keep it super nice. And if you add a second nice car, then that has less value than the first one did. And the third even less, and so on.

    The same is also true with money: The bigger the pile you already have, the less valuable even more money becomes. For example, $100 is going to have a lot more impact in the hands of somebody who has been working minimum wage flipping burgers all day than it will to somebody like me who pulls in a lot more than that in a typical day of work, and will have absolutely no impact at all if it goes to a billionaire.

    The key to happiness with relationship to material stuff, then is pretty simple: Know about the concept of "enough". As in, I have enough money, enough house, enough food, enough clothes, etc. Don't let the advertisers fool you into thinking that what you were perfectly satisfied with last week is somehow missing something.

    --
    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday February 14, @05:45PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday February 14, @05:45PM (#1344441)

      >$100 is going to have ... absolutely no impact at all if it goes to a billionaire.

      Makes me think of a funny scenario: while flying for work I would often hang my garment bag in "the closet" which tended to be in the front by the door - you know: in First Class.

      So picture me, somehow coming up out of Tourist class to get my bag, hands somehow full of whatever, bumping into Bezos (obviously slumming it for the day on commercial carrier) as I retrieve my garment bag, and somehow it ends up that Bezos lends me a hand carrying some of my stuff up the jetway. I'm met at the end of the jetway by a colleague who takes my excess baggage from Bezos and I slip Bezos a Benjamin thanking him for his help and leaving before he can collect his thoughts from the conversation he's having with his earbuds... look of befuddlement on Bezos' face as his entourage walks up and he wonders what to do with cash...

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
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